Let’s take a drive. Shall we?

Driving angry the sports car stock illustration
Image: Courtesy

My daughter and I were in the car one early morning, back when she was in kindergarten. We were crossing the Nyali bridge heading to her school when a motorist who, was driving on the wrong side, oblivious of us, tried to cut us off the lane.

If you are a driver on Kenyan roads, then you know what am talking about.

During rush hours, indecent drivers, overlap from the wrong side and try to repel you off the road in a ruthless manner without caring of an impending accident that they may cause. Most of the time, during these hours it is a ‘drive of might.’ You must contend with unruly matatu* drivers and rude motorists who clearly do not understand the ‘stick to your lane’ saying.

It can be a frustrating experience, one that often, ends with spiting of unpalatables and throwing tightened fists in the air by the aggravated parties while honking endlessly!

Not a pretty sight.

Back to our story. This driver tried to cut in front of us from the wrong side of the road. Unknown to him, I had already sighted his unwelcome intentions from the rear view mirror of my car, so I did what any other responsible Kenyan would do; In a split of a second, I straightened my back, gripped my fingers tightly on the steering wheel, lifted my head and accelerated bridging the gap between me and the car in front!

My instant actions caused that rogue driver to break insanely and momentarily came to an immediate halt causing a standstill of the vehicles behind.  Indeed, every action begets a reaction; The motorists at the back started hooting mercilessly! A few craned their necks out of their windows and venomously stripped the offender naked with words!

I did not miss any of that drama from my side mirror! With a triumphant grin and a jab at the steering wheel I drove off feeling like a daytime hero of our time!

It was then that it hit me that my little passenger was not impressed with the show.

One look at her and the smug on my face was wiped out! She had one of the biggest frowns that I had ever seen in a five-year-old.

“What’s wrong mama?” I asked her cautiously as I navigated through the traffic.

She took a slow deep breathe.

“This is not a race mom!”

You little kid, I just bought us five precious minutes. Five precious minutes of our lives out of traffic! Five minutes!

“Huh?” I asked puzzled as I took a turn.

“Mom,” she said with finality in a voice that I knew so well when something was coming. “You should just have let that car pass!”

Sometimes, I wonder if you are my daughter or my mother!

“Baby, that driver was on the wrong.” I replied softly.

By this time, we were pulling over in her school.

“Yes mom,” that voice again. “But it was not a race. Just let them go!” she gestured with her hands.

I considered her words for several seconds as I packed the car right outside her school gate. Her school nanny who was standing in wait, dashed to the passenger door. I turned to my little princess and looked at her with renewed admiration, marveling at how wise she was at her age.

Until she becomes a driver on these Kenyan roads!

“You are right baby.” I hugged and kissed her goodbye. “It was not a race.”

As I was pulling out of the school packing space, I could not help but dwell deeply into what my girl had said earlier.

It is not a race!

Just let them go!

Reflection

How many times in our lives do we fix ourselves into other people’s timeline?

That driver was in a mud rush to get to where he was going. We were not in the same car. He had his destination, which was not mine. He had his purpose for that day, which was not mine. He had his own mind of what he wanted in his life, which was not mine. That driver and I were two separate individuals with two separate lives.

It is not a race!

Just let them go!

How many times do you rush to do things just because other people are doing it?

Do not get me wrong. If it is your purpose to do the same, do so, at your own timeline. At your own space.

Why do you rush to compete with other people’s lives? You do not know their struggles, you do not know their prayers, you do not know their timelines?

Why are you worried that it might be too late for you? Perhaps this is the time for you to start doing what you are meant to.

Why allow yourself to suffer over things that you have no control?

It is not a race!

Just let them go!

We all have different timelines. Let people do what they must do as you pursue what sets you on fire. If you must compete, let it be with yourself.

Side Note

These days when I drive, I give way even when am on the right. If you are like that driver and you feel you need to get ahead of me, I let you go! As simple as that! This gives me a lot of peace both on and off the road.

“When you run your own race do not worry about the next person’s pace, mind yours, after all this is your own race not theirs.”

― Gift Gugu Mona

*public minibuses that are used as a mode of transportation within the city

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Published by AyakaManagementConsultancy

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7 thoughts on “Let’s take a drive. Shall we?

  1. It’s surely not a race, 🤔.

    Got me thinking of how God can use just anyone to pass some sense to us(his children).
    If those ones (“but mum it’s not a race” came frm a stranger, I bet they wouldn’t sink same way they did.

    Like

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